Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Late Interception By Rob Jackson A Fine Example Of Redskins’ Pressure
LANDOVER, Md. – The magnitude of what Rob Jackson accomplished didn’t arrive for a moment or two – and even then, he still found it unbelievable.
The Washington Redskins linebacker intercepted a pass thrown by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo with three minutes remaining on Sunday, stopping a potential go-ahead drive by the Cowboys at their own 25-yard line.
“You know, it was a great call by Haz,” Jackson said, referring to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, after the Redskins’ 28-18 victory. “He threw it right to me and I had to make the play. I was in the right position at the right time and I had to make it happen.”
Inside linebacker Perry Riley came unblocked through the A gap on first-and-10 from the Cowboys’ 29-yard line, which forced Romo to try a throw to running back DeMarco Murray in the left flat.
But Romo didn’t account for Jackson, who showed blitz but dropped into coverage on the running back. Romo’s lob pass was snagged by Jackson, who lunged at the ball and fell to the grass for only a modest gain.
“He did a great job,” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “The back swung off and did a little peel route. Rob had the awareness there to take a man-to-man coverage with the type of blitz that we had. Tony had to get rid of it very quick, and any time you’ve got a running back going against an outside linebacker, usually it’s a mismatch.”
A situational pass rusher thrust into a full-time role after Brian Orakpo tore his left pectoral in Week 2, Jackson had his fourth interception of the season. It was also the Redskins’ third interception of the game, marking the seventh time this season – the most since 1991 – they’ve had multiple interceptions in a game.
Much of that, Jackson said, was the result of the blitzes and pressures concocted to keep Romo off balance. The Redskins’ strategy entering the game was for the inside linebackers to shoot up the middle and the defensive line to contain him on the edges.
The quarterback was sacked twice – both by London Fletcher – and hit five times.
“I don’t think they every really got into a rhythm from an offensive standpoint in terms of what we were trying to do with our pressure package,” Fletcher said. “The first time we played them we kind of sat back in some coverages and they were able to get back in the ballgame. This time we decided we weren’t going to do that.”